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The Secrets of the Son.
pp. 54 - 56
These words, so full of suggestion and meaning for the believer, we hope to show
belong to the eighth Psalm, and associate the Mystery of Christ (Eph. 3: 4) with Adam,
the figure of Him that was to come (Rom. 5: 14). Our enquiry relates particularly to the
words that, in the A.V., stand at the head of Psalm 9: and read "Upon Muth-labben",
words which have received a variety of interpretations. We will subdivide our material
under a series of sub-headings, thus:
(1) The place that the words Muth-labben occupy.
The ordinary reader may express some surprise at this heading, for his Bible, whether
he read the A.V. or the R.V. places it at the head of Psalm 9: We believe, however, that
many of our readers (who evidently are not "ordinary readers"!) are already in possession
of the findings of Dr. J. W. Thirtle, of which the following is a summary: He observed
that in the third chapter of Habakkuk and Isa. 38: 9-20, we have two complete
Psalms. The Psalm falls under three heads: (1) The Superscription; (2) The Psalm
itself; (3) The subscription thus:
A Prayer of Habakkuk the prophet upon Shigionoth (3: 1).
The Psalm proper (3: 2-19).
To the chief singer on my stringed instrument (Neginoth) (3: 19).
Applying this principle to the book of Psalms, we find that Psalm 3: has a
superscription, but that the words of Hab. 3: 19, instead of being used as a subscription
to the Psalm are transferred as a title of Psalm 4: These titles and subtitles are all
restored to their true place in the "Companion Bible", Psalm viii, reading:
A Psalm of David.
The Psalm itself (verses 1-9).
To the Chief Musician upon Muth-labben.
The words Upon Muth-labben being the subscription of
superscription of Psalm 9:
(2) The meaning of the words of the subscription Upon Muth-labben.
The reader may not be conscious as he reads the words "upon Muth-labben" that it is
already assumed without proof that the word "upon" is of necessity a true translation of
the Hebrew word employed. Al standing alone is often translated "upon", but until we
are sure that these two letters do stand alone, we are prejudicing the reader from the start.
It seems that the Septuagint translators knew that AlMuth-labben came at the end of
Psalm 8:, for the word eis to telos "unto the end" are inserted. If the reader consults
Young's "Analytical Concordance", he will find that the words Muth-labben are not